Lawer

Drive northwest into the hills above Calistoga, and you’ll find pockets of vineyards rolling between steep dry slopes of fir, madrone, oak and bay laurel. This is the Frantz Valley, a hidden corner of the Knight’s Valley AVA, lying just across the Napa/Sonoma county line. When Betsy and David Lawer stumbled upon this scene of pristine beauty in 2002 - and learned a 100-acre property (including 20 acres of long-neglected vines) was for sale - they couldn’t resist the opportunity. While such a backstory is not uncommon in wine country, the Lawers’ “day job” involved running the 1st National Bank of Alaska. At first their plan was to purchase a refuge from cold Alaskan winters that would accommodate their wine tasting hobby and allow for some grape growing on the side. However, as Betsy Lawer has said in an interview, “All we intended to do was grow some really top notch fruit to sell to some of the local wineries. Well, once we got started, everything began to fall into place. The fruit we were producing turned out to be top quality and we decided on taking everything to the next step.”   Today, Lawer Estates produces Syrah, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay and Viognier from “Betsy’s Vineyard” in the Knight’s Valley. They also produce a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a range of wines under a second label called Hooker. Winemaking is overseen by Cary Gott, a fourth-generation Napa winemaker (and father to Joel Gott), and carried out by Kelli DeIanni, who is particularly versed in making high-end, Bordeaux-styled wines in the Napa Valley. As a nod to the Lawer’s careers in banking, the winery’s labels are designed to evoke the etchings on stock certificates. With the numerous awards the wines have won in competitions across the USA as well as the accolades garnered from the likes of Robert Parker, James Suckling and others, Lawer Estates is certifiably “investment grade” wine. 

Wines from this Winery